Thanks to Hollywood and NPR's foreign correspondents, most of us think we have a good idea of how each country's military works. China is scary, the U.S. patrols the world, the Middle Eastern countries only have armies big enough to fight each other, and everyone else just keeps the guns around for parades.
But there are some countries that never turn up in war movies or video games that you still wouldn't want to mess with. For instance ...
Switzerland Is One Big Explosive Booby Trap
We usually think of Switzerland as a tiny little snowy postcard of a country. Want to buy some watches, fine chocolate, or neutrality? Go to Switzerland. Want to buy military aggression? Try the 1930s Germany Store, because you're not going to find it among the Swiss.
Frederic J. Brown
You can't blitz with this, let alone krieg.
If you're wondering how Switzerland can remain famously neutral, there are several reasons, but let's start with this: The entire country is rigged to blow.
There are at least 3,000 points of demolition built into bridges, highways, and railroads throughout the nation. And those are just the ones acknowledged by the government. Some of those beautiful mountains are hollow enough to fit whole military divisions. There are cannons hidden in houses -- just waiting, just begging for the chance to kill someone. There are man-made rock slides waiting for the trigger. And all of these Wile E. Coyote traps weren't just set up and abandoned after World War II -- civil engineers undergo regular drills all the time. You know, just in case.
"C'mon, Germany ... see what happens!"
What we're trying to say is that Switzerland is like that quiet kid in the back of class who you just don't fuck with because he knows muay thai and has a weird twitch. Oh, and he has a lot of guns. In Switzerland, every man is required to join the military once he hits 19. That in itself isn't too weird; lots of countries have compulsory conscription. What's different about Switzerland is that once discharged from basic training, everyone takes their weapons home with them. They have to. It's the law. And they can keep those guns forever, which is one reason why the only two countries that have more firearms per capita than Switzerland are the United States (no surprise there) and Yemen. Not that we can get accurate numbers, because gun registration isn't a thing in Switzerland.
Sven Nackstrand / Getty